We won't go all wine sommelier here in an attempt to describe this water. We won't use words like, racy or curious, not even crisp, playful or silky. Wait, actually, we might use silky, because De L'Aubier water – a filtration by-product of maple-syrup making – does have a fairly pronounced mouth feel or texture.
Each spring, Quebec maple syrup production generates about one billion litres of sap water, which is usually discarded. That is until the brother and sister team of Mathieu and Élodie Fleury conceived of a way to salvage it. Launched in Quebec last year, the 2012 vintage produced 25,000 bottles – because the sap only runs for a short time in early spring, the number of bottles that come to market is limited. Now available in Ontario, too, the 2013 sap run has offered up 500,000 bottles.
The makers suggest serving it at French wine cellar temperature – somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 to 14C (50-57 F) – in stemware. The colder it is, the less flavour there is. Served at 14 C, there is a pleasant green, vegetal note, a suggestion of sweetness and a hint of the taste of coconut water; all courtesy of the maple wood, Quebec terroir and minerals that remain. Enjoyed ice cold, the only thing taste buds can detect is the nod to coconut water.
Whether you chug it brain-freeze cold or savour it at cellar temperature, it's a uniquely Canadian, award-winning, all-natural water. 750ml for $6.25 at select gourmet retailers in Ontario and Quebec or buy online from www.terroirsquebec.com.